Sunday 2 May 2010
Panthers went into their final league game of the season, in the knowledge that anything other than a defeat to the already crowned league winners would see them finish in 3rd place. In very windy conditions, both sides battled hard to create chances early on and neither side really threatened to score. Both defences were solid and with Andy Reynolds having a great first half for Panthers. James O’Brien and Owen Davies in midfield battled well to stifle a well drilled Shire Oak side and Oliver Davis, standing in at centre back was also in fine form. Lewis Ansell and Dominic Cella up front both showed good touches but Panthers lacked penetration in front of goal and the half ended at 0-0.
In the second half, again the conditions did not help either side and Panthers found it difficult to display any of the flowing football they had shown in recent weeks. Luke Ayres and Andy Vaughan at the back remained resolute for Panthers and Joshua Eyre found space wide on the left which caused Shire Oak problems. Panthers continued to battle hard and denied their opponents time on the ball with George Coldicott being especially effective in tracking back and winning important tackles towards the end. With 5 minutes to go Shire Oak won 3 successive corners which were all well dealt with by the Panthers defence, followed by some excellent saves by keeper James Walters to the delight of the Panthers parents. With just the bare 11 today and a couple of injured players at the end, Panthers held on to earn the point which ensured 3rd place in the league and, although the game finished 0-0, it was pleasing to see the desire and commitment shown by the lads today. A few months ago, we would have lost a game like this, but today they all battled well for each other right to the final whistle and showed a great spirit they can all be proud of.
Parent’s Man of the Match : Andy Reynolds
Manager’s Man of the Match : James Walters